SINGAPORE - A 46-year-old man, who sexually assaulted his daughter "relentlessly" for nearly five years, was sentenced to 29 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Wednesday (July 21).
He was found guilty of 14 charges of sexual assault by penetration and one of outrage of modesty. The offences were committed when she was between 10 and 14 years old.
During his trial, he accused her of setting him up because he found out that she had engaged in premarital sex with her boyfriend.
He also accused his former wife of influencing their daughter to fabricate allegations against him and alleged that police officers offered him bail if he signed on pre-prepared statements.
Deputy public prosecutors Eugene Lee and Colin Ng said in sentencing arguments that the man's baseless attacks and attempts at character assassination demonstrated "a patent lack of remorse or insight into his actions".
His conduct at trial and highly aggravated nature of the offences merited a sentence that was "firmly punitive" and a deterrent, they added.
The accused cannot be named due to a gag order to protect his daughter, who is now 20.
Her parents divorced in 2012.
The incidents came to light only because the girl's stepfather took the initiative to speak to her about her relationship with the accused, said prosecutors.
In 2010, the girl, her parents, elder brother, younger sister and a domestic worker slept together in one room of a flat in Yishun.
The man fondled her while everyone was asleep and told her not to tell anyone. He progressed to more intrusive acts.
In 2011, soon after the family moved to a four-room flat in Woodlands, her parents' relationship soured.
The girl ended up sharing a bed with her father while her mother slept in a separate room.
He impressed upon her that she would "lose a father" if anyone learnt about their sexual activities, and she became resigned to the constant abuse.
"Despite the victim repeatedly telling the accused to stop the sexual activities, the accused was unrelenting," said the prosecutors.
The man was awarded the care and control of the girl following the divorce.
She returned to the Yishun flat with her father and brother, but ran away to her mother in 2013. However, she kept silent about the abuse.
The girl later returned to live with her father but ran away again at the end of 2014.
In November 2017, she told her stepfather and, later, her mother about the abuse.
A police report was lodged that month.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.